The Houston Astros may have money freed up if George Springer leaves, and one writer believes it could be used on Carlos Correa.
The offseason conversation with the Houston Astros has surrounded the possibilities of re-signing George Springer and Michael Brantley. It is viewed as unlikely at best that Springer will be back and the rumor mill has heavily connected free-agent outfielders – Jackie Bradley Jr. in particular – to Houston.
But what about their internal options? With Springer off the books, the Astros would have a significant chunk of payroll cleared and allow them to spread it throughout the roster. Some of it would be used to find his replacement, of course, but general manager James Click could use it to extend one of his homegrown stars.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic recently went through extension candidates for all 30 teams and believes Carlos Correa makes the most sense for an extension with the Astros.
Correa, 26, is an elite defensive shortstop with an above-average offensive game. He has especially thrived in the postseason, hitting 17 home runs with 50 RBI in 63 games, proving to be a vital part of the Astros’ recent string of dominance.
Of course, signing Correa does not come without its risks. He has dealt with recurring back issues throughout his career. As Bowden said, they appear to be behind him for now. But back injuries can be problematic, especially for rangy shortstops, and could have the Astros hesitant to facilitate a mega-deal with Correa.
The Astros, however, would be wise to start negotiations with Correa sooner rather than later. He is a free agent in 2022. The team can ill afford to lose its prized shortstop. He is entering the prime of his career and while his offense numbers in ‘20 were below his career average – .264/.326/.383 with five home runs and 25 RBI – the expectation among scouts is that his game will continue to ascend.
Which means his price will only continue to grow. He has established himself as a cornerstone player and Click would be wise to build his future Astros teams around Correa. But if the Astros aren’t careful, what we’re seeing with Springer could soon be happening with Correa.